2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders


>>Eric Schmidt: It’s a great pleasure to invite
all of you back. I hope everybody enjoyed their breakfast. I certainly did. And it’s my privilege to invite you and welcome
you to our shareholder meeting. I’m, of course, Eric Schmidt, the executive
chairman. You know me. Everybody should have registered. If you haven’t, please go ahead and get your
badge so we know who you are. There is an agenda that includes, on the back,
a Rules of Procedure for the meeting, which we will, of course, be following. I want to make sure everybody knows we’ve
got a couple of folks here — I’m just going to describe them. Starting with John Doerr, one of our longest-serving
board members, my personal friend for many decades, and a fantastic venture capitalists. John Hennessy, among other things, a brilliant
computer scientist, and former president, I guess just recently stepped down at Stanford,
and remaining at Stanford as a computer scientist and also on our board. And, of course, Larry Page. It’s hard to describe the contribution that
Larry Page has made to the world, but just say that he is one of the most extraordinary
human beings alive today. And I’ll stop there. [ Laughter ]
I can go on, but I don’t — he hates this, so I want to be respectful and just say, let’s
start with that as our threshold. You’re going to hear from Ruth Porat, myself,
and David Drummond. And — who are part of the management. We also have Maura Stanley, she’s a representative
of Computershare. Maura, I didn’t see where she was —
Oh, there she is. I’m sorry, would you raise your hand there. She’s right over here on the right. And she’s our Inspector of Elections. So make sure the numbers add. That was a problem in another award show. And Andrew Cotton and Matthew Taggart, representatives
of Ernst & Young. Where are those two? Over here. Okay. Sitting in the opposite corner. And they’re our independent accountants. And they’ve done this forever and, of course,
do a great job. What we normally do here is we have sort of
the formal procedural part of the meeting and then what will happen is I’ll do a short
sort of update of where we are and go right to your questions. David Drummond, my colleague for 20 years,
I think, close to 20 years, will now run the proper part of the meeting. I think you all know, he’s the senior vice
president, corporate development, chief legal officer, and secretary of everything.>>David Drummond: All right.>>Eric Schmidt: David. Thank you.>>David Drummond: Thank you, Eric. [ Applause ]
Well, thanks, everyone. And welcome to the Annual Meeting of Stockholders,
as well as the annual opportunity for Eric and myself to wear a tie on the Google premises. So we’re really glad to have you here. So quick note about logistics. As stated in the Rules of Procedure that you
probably received — you should have received, stockholders should not address the meeting
until you’re recognized. We — as Eric said, we have a question and
answer period, so you can ask your questions after we’ve finished the formal business. So when we get to the Q&A period, if you’d
like to ask a question, we have — we usually have mics — I don’t see them. Maybe they will be from in the Q&A period
— where you can step up to the mic and ask your question. Once you’ve been recognized, when you are
recognized, please identify yourself and your status as either a stockholder or a representative
of a stockholder, and then you can ask your question. I’ve received the Affidavits of Mailing from
Computershare and Broadridge, which state that the notice of the meeting was dual given. All stockholders of Class A and/or Class B
common stock as of the close of business on April 19th, 2017, are entitled to vote at
this meeting. I’ve also been advised by the Inspector of
Elections that holders of our outstanding Class A and Class B common stock representing
at least a majority of the voting power of our outstanding Class A and Class B common
stock, which are entitled to vote, is represented in person or by proxy at today’s meeting. And I apologize for the longest sentence in
the history of mankind that I just read. Therefore, a quorum is present today, and
the meeting is duly constituted, and the business of the meeting can proceed. So the first item of business, as always,
is election of directors. We have 12 directors to be elected at the
meeting today. Those directors will hold office until the
2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. The board of directors has nominated the following:
Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric E. Schmidt, L. John Doerr, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Diane
B. Greene, John L. Hennessy, Ann Mather, Alan R. Mulally, Paul S. Otellini, K. Ram Shriram,
and Shirley M. Tilghman. Now, our bylaws require that stockholders
provide advance notice of their intent to nominate persons as directors. We didn’t receive any such notice, so accordingly,
I declare the nominations for directors closed. Now, the next matter being submitted to our
stockholders is the ratification of the appointment by the board of Ernst & Young as our independent
registered public accounting firm. And our board has recommended that our stockholders
ratify the appointment of Ernst & Young as our public accounting firm for the 2017 fiscal
year. The next matter that we’ve submitted to stockholders
is the approval of an amendment to our 2012 Stock Plan to increase the maximum number
of shares to our Class C capital stock that can be issued under the plan by 15 million
shares of Class C capital stock. Our board has also recommended that our stockholders
approve this amendment to the 2012 Stock Plan. All of that is described in detail in our
proxy statement. Now, the next matter being submitted, on an
advisory basis, is the approval of the compensation awarded to Alphabet’s named executive officers. Our executive compensation program and the
compensation paid to our named executive officers is described in full on pages 38 to 48 of
our proxy statement. Now, our compensation programs are overseen
by the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee of the board. And they reflect our philosophy to pay all
of our employees, including our named executive officers, in ways that support our primary
business objectives and mission. Our board of directors has recommended that
our stockholders approve the compensation awarded to our named executive officers. The next matter being submitted to the stockholders
is an advisory vote, again, to determine the frequency of the future stockholder vote regarding
compensation awarded to the named executive officers. So how often we’re going to have the advisory
vote that we just — I just discussed. Now, our board of directors has recommended
that our stockholders vote for a frequency of every three years for the stockholder advisory
vote on compensation awarded to named executive officers. Okay. So now the next seven items are all stockholder
proposals. Our board of directors has unanimously recommended
that our stockholders vote against all seven stockholder proposals that will be presented. You have the arguments for in our proxy statement,
as well as the company’s response to each of the proposals. So let’s start with the first one. It’s being brought by John Chevedden, James
McRitchie, Myra K. Young and the NorthStar Asset Management funded pension plan as the
colead filers, as well as Boston Common Asset Management, as a co-filer. Ms. Ivy Jack, who is representing NorthStar
Asset Management, will be presenting the proposal. There she is. Ms. Jack, you’ll have a total of three minutes
to make a statement about the proposal. And I’m advise you when your time is up.>>Ivy Jack: Good morning, my name is Ivy Jack,
from NorthStar Asset Management in Boston, the beneficial owner of over 7.2 million dollars
of Alphabet common stock. Fellow shareholders, I am here to represent
resolution number 6, a good governance proposal about equal voting rights. When shareholders of common stock do not have
an equal right to weigh in on significant governance matters, we subject ourselves to
greater financial risk. When Alphabet went public, shareholders already
lacked opportunities to give substantive input into matters of policy. Alphabet’s voting structure is heavily weighed
to favor insiders, given that Class B shares are granted ten times the voting rights of
Class A shares. Matters were made worse when Class B insiders
voted in a — voted in a brand-new class of stock with zero voting rights. The fact that this was approved is particularly
remarkable, because our calculations show that only 15% of Class A outside shares that
voted approved of establishing Class C capital stock. How was this possible? Well, this measure passed because Mr. Brin
and Mr. Page, who currently own only 11% of the outstanding shares of the company, together
have 51% of the voting power. While we can ignore this reality when profits
are up, this voting structure constitutes a considerable risk to governance and shareholder
value. Our company’s own 10-K identifies this risk
when it states that, “The concentration of our stock ownership limits our stockholders’
ability to influence corporate matters and that the Class C structure could prolong the
duration of Larry and Sergey’s current relative ownership of our voting power and their ability
to elect all of our directors to determine the outcome of most matters submitted to a
vote of our stockholders.” In other words, it continues to be impossible
for outsaid shareholders to have any meaningful input on company decisions. Furthermore, the 10-K notes that as a result
of this concentrated control, company management may take actions that our stockholders do
not view as beneficial. Since Class C shares have no voting rights
and given the importance of voting at annual meetings, Class A shares are the only way
for outside shareholders to have a say in company matters. We are very concerned about the governance
risks that come from relying upon merely two or three people’s vision and ability to reduce
threats to the company long term without broad input. The founders brought this company into fruition
and led it into profitability. But the company’s decision to offer common
shares of the company on public exchanges makes Alphabet a public company, brings with
it a responsibility to shareholders to practice good governance. Shareholders, we urge you to vote for proxy
item number 6.>>David Drummond: Thank you very much, Ms.
Jack. [ Applause ]
The — thank you. The second stockholder proposal is being brought
by Walden Asset Management as the lead filer. They are joined by the Benedictine Sisters
of Baltimore, the Benedictine Sisters of Pan de Vida, and other organizations as co-filers. We have today Ms. Meredith Benton, who will
be presenting the proposal. Ms. Benton, you have three minutes.>>Meredith Benton: Thank you. My name is Meredith Benton, and I’m here representing
Walden Asset Management, the primary sponsor of proposal 7, seeking information on how
Alphabet directly and indirectly works to affect legislation and public policy. Walden owns over 160,000 shares of Alphabet. On behalf of Walden and approximately 20 co-filers,
I’m pleased to move this resolution. On their behalf, let me start by thanking
Alphabet for its steadfast leadership on climate change, both by reducing its greenhouse gas
emissions, but also by speaking out to support the Paris Accord and committing to continuing
leadership on climate. It is a part of Alphabet’s lobbying for positive
public policy solutions, and it matters a great deal. Thank you. We understand that corporate lobbying can
be a positive force and that transparency is an important part of this. This request for transparency on lobbying
has been made to hundreds of companies over the last six years. Lobbying is big for Alphabet. We know that in the last five years, Alphabet
spent over $83 million in federal lobbying and has been one of the top five companies
lobbying. While Alphabet discloses a summary of their
direct federal lobbying on their Web site, with links to a report they provide to the
Senate, these Senate quarterly reports are very difficult for investors to navigate. Alphabet also does not disclose meaningful
details on dues and grants provided to the over 40 trade groups and advocacy organizations
it is a part of, nor how it evaluates whether these lobbying organizations are vetted to
be consistent with Alphabet’s priorities and values. In order to better understand Alphabet’s role
in trying to affect legislation and regulation through trade association, additional disclosure
is needed for investors. Once again, we want to congratulate Alphabet
for the company’s public decision several years ago to withdraw from ALEC, a known climate-denying
group actively working to combat renewable energy standards. Alphabet acted on its stated values when it
withdrew from ALEC, an action we enthusiastically commend. However, there are other trade associations
whose actions conflict with Alphabet’s values. For example, Alphabet is an active member
of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group which has spent over $1.2 billion on lobbying since
1998. This group has been an active force opposing
climate change solutions, including suing the EPA to block the EPA’s Clean Power Plan
to address climate change. Clearly, this creates an outright conflict
with our stated environmental position. Apple was so offended by the Chamber’s policies
and actions that they withdrew membership. We urge Alphabet to seek out challenging the
Chamber’s actions against climate policies and to lobby inside the Chamber with other
companies to change the Chamber’s policies. Another item of concern to investors is the
Financial Choice Act, which will soon be before the House for a vote. This seeks to eliminate the filing of shareholder
resolutions, an important tool for investor communication and trust-building within the
financial markets. We urge Alphabet to speak up for the rights
of investors to file resolutions. One final point. For several years, investors have written
letters to top management and filed resolutions on lobbying disclosure and transparency issues,
seeking an opportunity simply to meet and talk. But the letter and calls have gone unanswered. The filers of this resolution are perplexed. Alphabet doesn’t have a bad investor relations
record in general. So why doesn’t the company agree to meet or
talk on the phone with investors who want a hearing and to seek a middle ground? Thank you.>>David Drummond: Thank you, Ms. Benton. [ Applause ]
The third stockholder proposal is being brought by Clean Yield Asset Management as the lead
filer on behalf of John Fedor-Cunningham and David Fedor-Cunningham. And the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica. As the co-filer. Ms. Ivy Jack is back to present this proposal.>>Ivy Jack: Good morning, Mr. Chairman, board
of directors, and my fellow shareholders. My name is Ivy Jack, and I have been asked
to read the following statement by the filers of this proposal, Clean Yield Asset Management. Our proposal, number 8 on the proxy ballot,
calls on Alphabet to fully disclose the extent of its political spending. Specifically, Alphabet has refused calls to
disclose what it — what it contributes to so-called dark money nonprofits, such as trade
associations and 501(c)(4)s. These are entities that — these are entities
that can receive payments from corporations but do not have to disclose the source of
those contributions. Since 2012, dark money groups spent more than
$670 million to influence electoral outcomes. We’ve been trying to have this conversation
with Alphabet for three years and are surprised and disappointed at management’s continuing
unwillingness to dialogue with us on this matter. At the 2014 shareholder meeting, responding
to another shareholder raising questions about political spending, Mr. Schmidt pledged to
come back with, quote, some ideas. It’s been three years without any ideas. In those three years, the amount of dark money
spent in American elections rose by nearly $200 million. Also, in those three years, we have seen an
erosion of faith in this country’s democratic institutions. The two trends are not unrelated. We’d like to know why it’s okay for Alphabet
to secretly contribute the company’s money to groups that spend it however they wish,
even in ways that may conflict with the company’s stated values. Nearly one-fifth of the S&P 500 either restrict
their payments to 501(C)(4) groups and trade associations or disclose them. Alphabet showed real spine when it quit the
American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that consistently fights legislation
to curb climate change. But it still has an expensive political footprint,
supporting about 140 trade associations and other nonprofits across the political spectrum. The reputation risks are not hypothetical
as Alphabet has come under heavy criticism in the media for its aggressive lobbying of
the European Commission. Google users trade away a great deal of privacy
for the privilege of using the world’s most sophisticated and powerful search engine. This transparency should be a two-way street. As a company with this extraordinary power
over its users’ personal information, Alphabet has a special obligation to be fully transparent
about its policy aims and relationships, which affect so many aspects of our lives and relationships
to this company. Fellow shareholders, cast your vote in favor
of proposal number 7 to encourage management to stop hiding its political contributions
and rise to the best practices of its peers. [ Applause ]
>>David Drummond: Thank you, Ms. Jack. The fourth stockholder proposal is being brought
by Arjuna, as co-filer on behalf of a client, Eleanor Shorter, and Proxy Impact, as a co-filer
on behalf of CB Wealth Generation. Ms. Natasha Lamb, there you are, you’ll be
presenting the proposal. You have three minutes.>>Natasha Lamb: Thank you. Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Page, members
of the board, and fellow shareholders. My name is Natasha Lamb, and I’m here to move
proposal number 9, filed on behalf of Arjuna Capital’s client and cofiled by Baldwin Brothers
and Proxy Impact. Specifically, we are asking the board to publish
a report on gender pay equity. This is the second year that we have submitted
this proposal. The median income for women working full-time
in the United States is reported to be 79% of that of her male counterparts. And forecasts indicate that women will not
reach pay parity until 2059. Of note, the gap for African-American and
Latina women is wider, at 60% and 55% respect ill. Gender pay disparity is not only one of the
biggest social justice issues of our time. It poses a risk to companies’ performance,
brand, and investor returns. This issue is particularly salient to the
technology industry, which struggles to attract, retain, and move women into positions of leadership. A 2016 Glassdoor study finds an unexplained
5.9% gender pay gap in the information technology industry after statistical controls such as
job title and seniority, noting, quote, “Many tech jobs top the list for the largest gender
pay gaps.” And while Alphabet has not reported its companywide
pay gap, PayScale reports the company as a mean pay gap of 13%, over $13,000, and Glassdoor
has reported a $25,000 gap at the senior engineering level. I will note, however, that investors should
not be reliant on third-party analysis. The onus is on our company to disclose. Of further note, Alphabet is now the subject
of an investigation by the Department of Labor, alleging extreme gender pay disparity. Research indicates gender-diverse teams are
more productive, innovative, and drive better results. So, clearly, a failure to attract and retain
qualified female employees is detrimental to Alphabet’s ability to innovate and compete. Alphabet has disclosed that 31% of our company’s
workforce is female. Yet only 24% of our management team is female. Our company is best served by a proactive
approach to address the structural biases, including pay inequities, that prevent women
from moving into positions of leadership. So given the material business risks gender
inequity presents, investors expensive transparent, honest disclosures and quantitative goals. Employees expect a new level of structural
support that addresses root causes and empowers fair negotiation, promotion, and ultimately,
equal pay. Implementing the proposal would represent
a proactive step toward closing the gender pay gap. We believe the company would benefit from
taking a leadership position on this issue, along with technology peers, including Intel,
Apple, Expedia, Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Go Daddy, and eBay. As research indicates, attracting and retaining
diverse teams yields strong financial performance benefits.>>David Drummond: I’ll have to ask you to
wrap up.>>Natasha Lamb: Thank you. Proxy investor institutional shareholders
agrees, stating a vote for this resolution is warranted, as Alphabet lags its peers in
addressing gender pay disparity. By not addressing the issue at the same level
as its peers, Alphabet is put at a competitive disadvantage in the recruitment of candidates
and the retention of employees. Thank you.>>David Drummond: Thanks very much. [ Applause ]
The fifth proposal is being brought by The National Center for Public Policy Research
as the lead filer. Mr. Justin Danhof is here. Hi, Justin, and he’ll be presenting the proposal. Three minutes.>>Justin Danhof: Thanks. Good to see you again, David. The tie looks good. I feel —
>>David Drummond: Thank you.>>Justin Danhof: — underdressed now. But we’re not here —
>>David Drummond: Hey, I’m trying.>>Justin Danhof: — for fashion. As David said, I’m Justin Danhof, The National
Center for Public Policy Research. And I rise today to move proposal 10. Our proposal requests that the board issue
a report analyzing the company’s charitable activities. The report should list the rationale and benefits
to society at large produced through the company’s charitable contributions. It should be noted that the report would not
change any of the company’s policies, goals, or values, or place them in the hands of shareholders. It would simply explain whether management
believes that its donations have lived up to the company’s goals and values. The company donates to numerous organizations. Some of these organizations may end up using
funds provided by the company in unintended and unwanted ways. Donations to controversial groups, particularly
political ones, may also eventually result in harm to Alphabet’s reputation. For example, the company has donated to the
Center for American Progress, known as CAP. CAP is an extreme political group that has
been accused of anti-Semitism. In 2010, under the direction of John Podesta,
who would go on to become chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, CAP actually
wrote the blueprint for the Obama administration’s expansion of executive power. Even the New York Times towards the end of
Mr. Obama’s presidency said that he expanded the executive branch power so much more than
we had seen in modern times that it would change the presidency for decades to company. Well, we all know presidents change, and now,
with President Trump in office, Alphabet has actually lodged complaints about the very
same use of executive power that was designed and endorsed because of the company’s decision
to fund CAP. That’s hypocritical. The company has also donated to the Clinton
Foundation, which has been under FBI investigation. Media reports strongly imply that parts of
the Clinton Foundation may have operated as a pay-for-play scheme whereby individuals
and corporations may have sought preferential treatment from government actors in exchange
for donations to the foundation. Such speculation is further fueled by the
closing of some of the Clinton Foundation operations following her unsuccessful bid
for the White House. While liberals in the room may cheer donations
to CAP and the Clinton Foundation, just as conservative may bemoan them, there is no
question that donations to highly politicized organizations are controversy. The report requested by our proposal would
increase transparency and accountability and may also help the company avoid unnecessary
controversies. Please join me in supporting proposal 10. Thank you.>>David Drummond: Thank you, Justin. [ Applause ]
The sixth proposal is being brought by Holy Land Principles, Inc., as the lead filer,
and Azzad Asset Management as the co-filer. Mr. Declan Keough is here to present. Mr. Keogh.>>Declan Keough: Good morning, Mr. Chairman
and fellow Google shareholders. My name is Declan Keough. I am here to request that Google adopt the
Holy Land Principle resolution. These principles require that companies that
do business in Israel and in Palestine have fair employment policies and procedures. Google must have a workforce in Israel that
reflects the ethnic diversity in Israel. In Israel, diversity means diversity of religious
affiliation. It does not mean skin color. Having a diversive workforce means a workforce
that includes Christians and Muslims, who make up more than 20% of the Israeli population. The government of Israel requires that everyone
carry an identity cards that color-coded to their religion. It is very easy for anyone to see which religion
a person has. American people expect American companies
that do business overseas to have employee policies that reflect American values. These — this includes equal opportunity,
equal pay, and no favored group. Google’s board has recommended that we stockholders
vote against this resolution because they say Google already has an equal opportunity
policy in place in Israel. If that is true, then we would like to see
the numbers. If Israel is very — sorry — in Israel, it
is very easy for Google to count how many of its employees are Jewish, how many are
Christian, and how many are Muslim. I grew up in Ireland during the Irish troubles,
which were caused by the discrimination against Catholics in northern Ireland. The Holy Land Principles are based on the
MacBride Principles, which require companies that did business in Northern Ireland to be
fair in their hiring policies. I know firsthand what discrimination can do
to a nation. By definition, Israel is an apartheid state,
where Christians and Muslims are subjected to institutionalized discrimination. Google must oppose Israel’s apartheid laws
and take whatever steps it can to provide a safe and fair work environment for all of
its employees. Apartheid is glaringly obvious in Israel’s
illegal settlements in Palestine. To employ Jewish Israelis that live in illegal
settlements and not to employ Christian and Muslim Palestinians that live in Palestine
is a flagrantly discriminatory practice. Google’s credibility in the Arab world is
at risk. Without a verifiable policy that provides
proof of their fair employment, Google will be seen to have its own unofficial version
of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, apartheid
is both intrinsically evil and morally reprehensible. Please remember, Google’s motto is, “Don’t
be evil.” Thank you. [ Applause ]
>>David Drummond: Thank you, Mr. Keogh. So our final stockholder proposal is being
brought also by Arjuna Capital, on behalf of its clients Susanna L. Hoffs and Matthew
Joseph Roach. Ms. Lamb is back to present this proposal.>>Natasha Lamb: Good morning. Again, my name is Natasha Lamb, and I’m here
to move proposal number 12 on behalf of Arjuna Capital’s clients, asking the board to publish
a report on public policy issues associated with managing fake news and associated hate
speech, including the impact on the democratic process, free speech, and a cohesive society. To be clear, we are talking about content
posted and disseminated with the intent to mislead, not the mainstream media, which the
president refers to as fake news. Of note, research has shown that fake news
has affected elections in the U.K., France, and the U.S. And PEW confirms broad misperception caused
by fake news, noting 64% of U.S. adults say fabricated news stories cause a great deal
of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events. That confusion cuts across political lines. And there’s a study that just came out this
morning that shows that the same number, 64% of Americans, now trust content on the Internet
less than they did one year ago. Fake news is not about spin or confirmation
bias. It’s about fabrication. And when fabrication is disseminated so easily
at scale, the way we have seen through Google’s AdSense platform, it represents a threat to
our democracy. Google has faced sharp criticism for providing
a financial mechanism supporting fabricated content on the Internet as fake news promoters
hack their way to visibility and revenue through strategically gaming ad buys and algorithms. Hate speech is a related concern. A number of major advertisers have suspended
advertising on Google platforms for fear of being associated with objectionable content. And one prominent Wall Street firm estimates
Google lost $750 million in advertising revenue for this very reason. Alphabet is highly vulnerable for its apparent
mismanagement of the issue. And while our company has recently announced
some steps to deal with these problems, they are too little and too late. Indeed, Alphabet’s challenge is how to address
fake news and hate speech without curbing freedom of expression for billions of users. And a lack of self-regulation could invite
government regulation. So investors seek assurance that fake news,
fabricated content, and hate speech is being handled responsibly over time. We do not expect it will be solved through
a simple algorithm tweak or better user education, although those are important pieces of a larger
puzzle. Fake news is a complex issue that needs to
be managed systematically, and investors expect transparency and accountability so we may
understand the full scope of the issue. We expect annual reporting on public policy
risk, impacts on free speech, and analysis on how fake news is impacting a cornerstone
of our democracy, an informed electorate. Thank you.>>David Drummond: Thank you very much, Ms.
Lamb. [ Applause ]
So that concludes the proposals and the formal business for the meeting. So most stockholders have voted in advance
of the meeting via proxy. But we do want to give folks an opportunity
who have not voted, or those who want to change votes the opportunity to do that at the meeting. So if — you don’t need to do anything if
you don’t want to change your vote. But we have ballots available if you don’t
have them already. And if you do, you can hand them to the folks
roving the room here. We’ve received sufficient proxies before the
meeting to know that the proposals we discussed today will pass or fail in accordance with
the recommendations made by our board of directors as laid out in the proxy statement. But we do want to make sure everybody has
the opportunity to vote or change a vote if you so desire. So we’ll pause for another few moments and
then proceed. Okay. Thanks very much. There seems to be a couple more left. Okay. So I’ll now declare that the polls for each
matter that’s being voted upon at the meeting are now closed, and directing the Inspector
of Elections to collect any other ballots that are still out there. If you do have one, please hold up your hand. It looks like we got everybody. There’s one more. Two more. All right. So let’s get to the results. I’ve been advised by the Inspector of Elections
that the nominees for election to the board of directors have been duly elected. I’ve also been advised that a majority of
the shares of our Class A and Class B common entitled to vote and are present in the meeting
in person or by proxy have voted in favor of the ratification of and appointment of
Ernst & Young to act as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2017. As well as the approval of an amendment to
our 2012 Stock Plan, the approval of compensation awarded to our named executive officers, and
the proposal that every three years, we have a stockholder advisory vote on compensation
awarded to our named executive officers. So, therefore, each of these proposals has
been approved by our stockholders. I’ve also been advised by the Inspector of
Elections that a majority of the shares of the Class A and Class B common stock and entitled
to vote and are present here in person or by proxy have voted against the stockholder
proposal regarding equal voting, the stockholder proposal regarding a lobbying report, the
proposal regarding a political contributions report, the proposal regarding a report on
gender pay, the proposal regarding a charitable contributions report, the proposal regarding
the implementation of Holy Land Principles, and, finally, the stockholder proposal regarding
a report on fake news. So therefore, each of those proposals has
not been approved by our stockholders. As soon as possible after the meeting, we
will complete the final vote tabulations incorporating everything we’ve received today, and we’ll
provide a final vote tally, those results on our investor relations Web site. We also will be filing those with the SEC. So that ends the official business of the
meeting. And I declare the formal portion of the meeting
adjourned. Eric will now come up and make a few remarks,
and then we’ll go to Q&A. Eric.>>Eric Schmidt: Let’s have our video. Thank you, David, very much. [ Video ]
>>>Hey, Google.>>>Hey, Google.>>>Hey, Google.>>>Okay, Google. [ Music ]
>>>Play some dance music.>>Google: Sure. [ Music ]
>>>This is fresh air. My guest will be —
>>>Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.>>>Okay, Google, count to 100.>>Google: Sure. One, two, three —
>>>Play vacuum harmonica on my TV.>>>71, 72, 73.>>>Play the Wonder Woman trailer.>>>Hey, Google, talk to Domino’s.>>>Talk to Lonely Planet.>>>Talk to Quora.>>>Show me my photos from last weekend. [ Screaming ]
>>>Your car is parked at 22b. Today in the news.>>>Turn the living room lights on.>>Google: Okay. Turning on the lights.>>>I’m back, baby.>>>Hey, Google, drop a beat.>>>Flip a coin.>>>Call Jill.>>>Set a timer.>>>Talk to Headspace.>>>And then just for a moment, I’d like you
to let go of any focus at all. Just let your mind do whatever it wants to
do.>>Google: Done.>>>Hey, Google, good night.>>Google: Turning off all the things. See you tomorrow. [ Video concludes ]
>>Eric Schmidt: I love that video, because I think it shows you where your company is
headed. And where we’re headed is to help people live
their lives. I don’t know that that was the original idea
that Larry and Sergey had when they founded the company. But it now informs and drives everything that
we think about. And that’s what I want to talk about for a
few minutes and review a little bit of the things that have happened in what has been
an exceptional year for the corporation. We had this sort of notion that we would give
people the answers that they needed whenever they wanted. But we then added this notion of trying to
address the life challenges of literally billions of people. And you see this in everything we do. And what’s happened is that the company has
become this sort of source of optimism in an otherwise difficult world or challenging
world, at least as I perceive it. Because it’s a natural consequence of wanting
to help people and help people make their lives better. When I think about my own beliefs, for example,
I believe very strongly that science and critical thinking matter, right, that it’s important
that we state those principles right up-front, and that it is possible today, because of
the technologies I’m going to highlight, to invent things that will substantially change
the world for the better. Right? Not in small ways, but in extraordinary ways. And I think that they are very much coming. It’s sort of defined as limitless imagination
because of the technological opportunity. And we’re in an era of almost limitless communications
and information, which is a huge change for all of us in our lifetimes. And I think as a result, we can solve some
very, very profound problems. And there’s no industry in the world that
is as brutally competitive and brutally dynamic as the technological industry globally. And we’re in the middle of this. And we’re — we win some, and we lose some;
right? But the important point is that that competition,
sort of the raw capitalistic competition, along with the innovation, is driving these
platforms, these inventions, these things which solve people’s problems, and, of course,
ultimately, deliver shareholder value. To me, the most undertold story is the story
of the genesis of Alphabet. We’ve deliberately focused on the companies
rather than Alphabet. And I wanted to spend at least a minute telling
you about Alphabet. I felt so strongly about this that in the
new version of How Google Works, we added a whole chapter on how Alphabet works, right,
available for $9.99 from your favorite online bookstore using Google Play. The — In August, it’s two years since we
adopted Alphabet. And to me, the genesis of Alphabet is a meeting
that Larry and Sergey and I had about a decade ago where we flew — technically, I flew them
— shocking — to Omaha, and we visited with Warren Buffett. And I remember sitting on, I think, the 14th
floor and being struck by the extraordinary success of his model with one floor. Right? That he had figured out a problem that had
bedeviled all of us in our industry for years, which was how to establish scalability. Right? And he had a particular formula, which was
the independence of the companies, strong CEOs, independent operation, and strong branding
of those corporations. So two to three years ago, when it was clear
that the company’s ambitions were well beyond the traditional definition of Google, we kept
going back and back and back to this sort of principle that you need genuine autonomy. And Larry would say over and over again, let’s
think about how do we solve this in a structural way. All of these things that companies do are
— they’re sort of half solutions. But there is one solution that we know works
well in capitalism, which is boards, shareholders, CEOs, and independent. And you see that in capitalism today. So what’s interesting is that with this — with
this idea, right, formed a decade ago, we started with Alphabet. And we began the process of creating these
corporations. And this structure, I think, is at the beginning. And I am convinced that the structure that
Larry and Sergey adopted, right, as the sort of next structure of the company that they
founded, where a small team has helped architect, in particular, Ruth and David working with
them, has really built a sort of a corporation scaling mechanism that we’ve never seen in
the world. So my bet is that the traditional lessons
of business organization will in fact result in success at Alphabet over time and to the
benefit of all of us. And the reasons why this structure is likely
to work. And it starts with the fact that we’re trying
— that we’re focused on finding solutions to big problems with the applications of science
and technology. Right? Again, it goes back to that fact that science
matters and that facts matter and that technology matters. And that this structure that’s — that I’ll
highlight is helping the entrepreneurs that we’ve either promoted or brought in to create
these corporations with the kind of global impact that Google had in its early years. And we’re beginning to see that. It’s tantalizing to me. But in order to really make that happen, we
had to have a strong leader and a strong structure for Google. And, indeed, that person is Sundar. And I think we don’t need to go on and on
about how successful Google as a corporation has been over the last year under his leadership. But let me give you some examples of things
that we’ve recently announced. You saw a lot of innovation at I/O. The Assistant, the ability to do it across
devices and surfaces in ways that you do it. A product called Google Lens, which is a new
way for the computers to sort of see what’s going on, again, with your permission, that
you can then use to understand things going on around you. When you use Google Home, right, this interesting
little device, you’re using a supercomputer of analysis and knowledge around — about
the world around you. And this is version 1. Imagine what version 2 will be and version
3 will be as we get more and more capable of making your lives more powerful. So all sorts of new hardware devices. We are very excited about all the Pixel products
that we announced. And we have more than 2 billion monthly active
devices at Android. Right? So gives you a sense of the scale and touch
and reach that Google now has with Android. On the machine learning side — and when Sundar
came in, he took the older phrase, my phrase, mobile first, and he said, the new phrase
is, AI first. He said, let’s use machine learning and intelligence
to make our systems smarter throughout. And over and over again, he said, let’s be
the world’s leader in the most emerging technology in computer science in 50 years, speaking
as a computer scientist who’s been doing it for about 50 years. It’s that important. We recently announced something called Auto
ML. One of the problems with machine learning
is that it’s a very complicated thing to understand. It’s hard for me to even understand, and I
have a Ph.D. in this area. But by building tools that generate neural
networks automatically, the sort of more traditional person, the more traditional person just trying
to solve a problem, can find these models generated for them automatically. This requires invention and investment in
computation and algorithms at a scale that’s hard to describe. But this is where your shareholder investment
in capital and those data centers is allowing us to literally have neural networks design
other neural networks. This auto generation is a core part of a strategy
that we talk about internally called learning to learn. How do you learn how to think? Well, can the computer help you in — at the
scale that we’re doing it? In translation, we used neural machine translation
and had a huge improvement in entire sentences rather than just in phrases. We’re working with Stanford to use TensorFlow,
which is the underlying open source platform for this — it runs on all the interesting
hardware, including our competitors’ — to detect skin cancer as well as or better than
dermatologists. So, again, in the future, when you go to the
dermatologist, your dermatologist will have something to make sure that they’re giving
you the right diagnosis. Might be slightly better than he or she. You take a look at YouTube, more than a billion
hours of watch time per day. We launched YouTube TV for the people who
don’t have traditional television service but they have an Internet. They can now watch the majority of television
programs on top of their Internet connection. It’s the next step in over the top. It’s interesting. We used machine learning — there we are again,
AI first, thanks to Sundar — to automatically caption over a billion videos in ten languages,
making them accessible to the more than 300 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Again, think about it from their perspective,
how we changed their lives. I could not be prouder of the impact that
we have had on that. Think about Google Photos, my current obsession,
uploading all my pictures and videos of my life. We have more than 500 million users of Google
Photos now, and we’re uploading more than a billion photos per day. And I predict that number will only go up. In Cloud, we’ve decided to make a major investment
in Cloud. Cloud is important to us for many, many reasons,
both strategically as well as business and competitive and so forth in that marketplace. But, for example, we hired a — an incredible
computer scientist named Fei-Fei Li to lead our AI machine learning for cloud. That will be one of our great differentiators. We’re doing all sorts of interesting APIs. We designed these hardware accelerators, they’re
called cloud TPUs. Think of it as a specialized computer that
can do this computation incredibly fast. And when I say “incredibly fast,” I mean much,
much faster than the fastest computers that have been available today. Let’s have a — so just to finish on Google,
Google has had an extraordinary year since we met. And I think a lot of that has to do with the
coalescing around the missions that I just described. And I am sure that it will continue to do
well. Let’s switch, let me show you a video about
Loon. We’ve talked about Loon before. [ Video ]
[ Music ]>>>This is the first time Loon has tried
to deploy in a disaster scenario. We know that Loon has tremendous advantages
for these types of settings, but we haven’t had an opportunity to go out and make a difference
in a disaster. [ Video concludes ]
>>Eric Schmidt: This is a very good example —
[ Applause ] Thank you very much. This is a very good example of Googlers who
just saw a problem, saw a technological solution, and saw a way to make some progress on something
that will affect a lot of us. Loon is now operational and running well in
those areas. And it’s a good example of how nobody else
could solve the problem and this new technology could do so. We are, of course, as a result, getting a
great deal of learning as we learn how to fly around Peru in terms of balloon-to-balloon
communication and those sorts of things that will continue. Let me mention — I’ll mention a few more,
and then we’ll go ahead to questions. Waymo. Waymo graduated from X in December. We have one of the cars outside. It’s a rare event for people in California
to see these cars, for various boring legal reasons. So I encourage you to go take a look at it. We did this huge partnership with Fiat Chrysler,
we have another 500 Pacifica minivans, for a total of 600. And we have done more than 3 million miles
of full autonomous driving as of May. We have this incredibly entertaining program
called the Early Rider Program in Phoenix, where we picked a set of families and we provide
them essentially automatic — automatic driving to watch how families actually use cars, right,
on the theory that we should do some beta testing with actual families, in Arizona. And we’ll see how that goes. So far, they’re doing well. And we’ve done a big partnership with Lyft
as our next (indiscernible). Much more to come in the next relatively short
period of time. Verily, our life science business, we’re doing
a baseline study of human health. It’s important to remember that we’re all
the same, as a medical matter. And the baseline study of how people’s health,
both sort of locally as well as with disease and so forth and so on, varies over time. We’re doing that with Stanford and Duke to
map the health of 10,000 individuals to, again, build the data to begin to do the machine
learning to do the kind of prediction that’s now possible. Again, there’s that AI-first principle. We’re doing something with Nikon around retinal
images of diabetes-related eye disease, diabetic retinopathy. It’s a disease that affects a lot of people
in the developing world. Literally, many, many millions of people go
blind because of this. We think we can detect it just like that. Wow. That’s amazing. With Sanofi, we’ve announced — diabetes,
of course, can be a huge problem globally, not just in the U.S., but around the world. For example, 51% of the people in China are
thought to be prediabetic at this point. So we’ve got a national, globally health problem. There’s a big opportunity to solve problems
and build a business there. With GSK, we announced a joint venture called
Galvani to help develop bioelectronic medicine where we use electronic detection of certain
kinds of things that are going on to, again, detect early kinds of diseases in your body. They will do well, in my opinion. Nest has, of course, just announced Nest Cam
IQ, which is a piece of software with Nest to wear that can apply facial recognition
that can help you understand if there’s someone unwelcome in your home. Probably a pretty good and useful technique
for all of us. Over and over again, Calico, Sidewalk Labs,
the Fiber projects are all basically working on this core principle of excelling technical
innovation. If you think of Alphabet as innovation through
business organization, an important bet, which I think will ultimately serve as a marker
for the next 100 years in how corporations at scale should operate, you’re also going
to see the innovation in each of the corporations. You have invested, in my view, in a truly
revolutionary company in the form of Alphabet. If I go back to the 2013 founders’ letter,
Larry and Sergey wrote that, “Incrementalism in technology leads to irrelevance over time,
because change tends to be revolutionary, not evolutionary.” We have taken the position that with this
structure, and with this kind of innovation, we can bring revolutionary benefits to billions
of people globally. I am so proud to be in front of you to represent
the many people and companies that are part of the Alphabet who I can tell you are all
committed to this broad mission. Our goal remains the same: Serve billions
of people and help them live better. I’ve been privileged to be here as part of
16 years. The company is 18 years old. We’re tackling the most important and hardest
problems, the most impossible problems that you can imagine, to have the greatest impact
and the greatest number of people. I want to thank you all for your support to
make the impossible possible. And thank you very much. [ Applause ]
We have a good amount of time, and I always look forward to your comments, questions,
thoughts. It is my privilege to — let’s see. We have Ruth Porat, who I think everybody
knows, senior vice president and chief financial officer. David I’ve already introduced. And Kent Walker, who’s the general counsel
and many other functions, including all of PR and policy in Google. So I think between the four of us, we can
probably answer questions or comments. Yes, sir. Why don’t you go in the beginning.>>>Yes. Good morning, and thank you guys for the great
work you are doing. I’m a new shareholder. My name is Bill Preston with Rosa and Raymond
Parks Institute for Self Development out of Detroit, Michigan. My comment is in the area of Alzheimer’s. I’ve been caring for a loved one for over
a decade. I’m just hoping that, you know, really, in
the scientific side — I come from a big Pharma background. We’ve had so many setbacks, the biggest one
obviously coming with the one from Eli Lilly back at the end of November. And it was really hard. So it’s the sixth leading cause of death. I’m just praying that you guys will partner
with big Pharma. We’ve got to come up with a solution by 2025. Otherwise, it’s going to break Medicare. So this is a major public health problem not
only in the U.S., but globally. So I pray that you guys will look in that
area and look for somebody to partner with and make a difference. God bless you all, and continued success. Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: Okay. Thank you. If you look at Verily, its core strategy is
to do precisely what you described. What Verily is trying to do is trying to invent
some new technological solutions and apply them in the medical industry, which has not
had access to machine learning and so forth. The research I read in, for example, autism
and Alzheimer’s all have the property that it looks like machine learning could make
health care progress there. And those diseases, in particular, Alzheimer’s,
is a trillion-dollar industry, right, negatively, it’s a trillion dollars of cost to our society
if we cannot fix it. Right? It’s crucial. And it’s one of the things that we’re thinking
about. Yes, sir.>>>Good morning, fellow shareholders. I’m John Simpson. I’m a shareholder. And I should also say I’m a privacy project
director for Consumer Watchdog. I’m asking this question on behalf of Nicole
S., whose story was featured in the film “I am Jane Doe,” about online child sex trafficking
and the legal shield that protects it. She could not be here today. Good morning, Dr. Schmidt, Alphabet, Inc.,
and Google executives, board members, and shareholders. I’m reading her question. I am Nicole S. I hope you have seen “I Am
Jane Doe.” It is available on Google Play and Netflix. It documents how my 15-year-old daughter was
sold repeatedly for sex through the notorious Web site, backpage.com. Consumer Watchdog’s recent report, “How Google’s
Backing of Backpage Protects Child Sex Trafficking,” details how Alphabet, Inc.’s Google has funded
nonprofit groups and legal scholars who continue to defend Backpage in the name of Internet
freedom. Internet freedom can’t be about helping sell
children for sex. That’s got to end. Will you stop funding groups in their misguided
effort to defend Backpage, no matter what harm it causes? And more importantly, perhaps, going forward,
will you support a narrow amendment to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that
would allow victims like my daughter and me to hold Backpage accountable for facilitating
child sex trafficking?>>Kent Walker: Let me take that one. Welcome back, John. Obviously, the topic is a very important one. We take the issue of human sex trafficking
very seriously, as we do the abuse of our systems with child sexual abuse imagery. We’ve taken a variety of steps to try and
combat this problem throughout society. We’ve investor and funded a number of groups
that are working on the problem. We’ve hired people at Google to work on the
question of human rights advocacy. And our engineers have actually worked with
the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other groups around the world
to develop tools and technologies to identify and help them combat and get to the root of
some of these rings that are at the center of this. Now, when you raise the question of section
230, we think that the congress, when it formed 230, was actually striking a blow in favor
of the ability of Good Samaritan review by Internet platforms. You don’t want to create liability for review
of platforms. And we think congress got that balance right. We continue to think it’s a robust platform
for the kind of innovative stuff we’ve been able to do on top of our platforms and what
other Internet companies –>>>So you won’t support an amendment?>>Kent Walker: We think that the section 230
as it stands has actually been a great thing for both the ability of companies to be able
to review their platforms and to preserve their right for free expression and free speech
–>>>Before — have you seen the movie I Am
Jane Doe?>>Eric Schmidt: I have.>>>We sent you a letter, by the way, with
our report. Have you received our report?>>Eric Schmidt: Sir, this is not actually
a debate.>>>I’m not going to debate you.>>Eric Schmidt: I have seen it — I have seen
— sir, we have given you the response.>>>Have you seen the report?>>Eric Schmidt: Yes. Thank you.>>>You have?>>Eric Schmidt: I have.>>>I will give you a copy.>>Eric Schmidt: You may give me another copy,
if you wish.>>>I will do that.>>Eric Schmidt: Yes, sir.>>>Good morning. My name is Eric Sprague, I’m a shareholder
from the Sacramento area. And I’m wondering about your plans in the
online travel space for the next few years. I think Oliver Heckmann at the Skift forums
has said that you don’t plan on becoming an online travel agency in the near future. But as you enter spaces directly, it would
affect some of your biggest customers, like The Priceline Group, where I’m also a shareholder. And also, as you enter new spaces, it’s a
balance of organizing information, but there was a recent Reuters story about what might
be an upcoming fine from the E.U. in the shopping space. So I was wondering, with spaces like travel,
as you think about entering them more directly, how you calibrate all of these factors.>>Kent Walker: So as you allude to the question
of some of the antitrust investigations that are going on, let me take that one. I think our general policy has been to try
and look for areas where we can deliver the most benefit to the most number of consumers
around the world. We try and provide streamlined experiences
that are faster and more comprehensive. Travel is one area where Google Flight Search
has delivered phenomenal value to consumers. We continue to look for opportunities to do
that. And we think that we are in an extraordinarily
competitive market with a number of large and small platforms in the U.S. and around
the world, and that we’ve actually been remarkably successful over the last decade reducing consumer
prices, improving the quality of offerings, and improving consumer choice. So that’s been a dramatic improvement in social
welfare. So we think that’s been a very good thing.>>>So do you see yourselves getting involved
more directly, like, with Google trips app and those types of tools?>>Kent Walker: We can’t preannounce product
decisions. But I think we continue to be looking for
ways to benefit consumers.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you very much. Yes, sir.>>>Hi. Good morning. I’ll still Justin Danhof, still from the National
Center. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say your tie looks
very nice, too, Mr. Schmidt. I have a quick question about the company’s
diversity and inclusiveness initiatives. When the company takes public policy positions,
does it consider all of its employees? What I mean by that is, when, for example,
the company publicly opposed President Trump’s position on immigration, right, the company
opposed the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord, quite publicly. The company also recently opposed decency
legislation in the state of Texas. While the executive suite likely consists
largely of more of the liberal elite mindset, surely the company employs a few conservatives
who would rightfully view all of these actions as offending their world view and their public
policy positions. So when you take these publicly — these very
public positions, are you concerned that conservative employees here or libertarian-minded employees
here at Alphabet and Google, that they don’t feel that this is an inclusive environment
for their opinions because they know that the hierarchy doesn’t share their values?>>Eric Schmidt: I would start with my answer,
which is, we start from the principles of science at Google and at Alphabet.>>Kent Walker: And, in general, the filter
we use for a lot of these issues are, do questions affect our business operations and the — for
example, we are a significant consumer of green power and so have a business interest
in getting that right — or does it affect our relationships with our employees, in the
way we are able to provide employee benefit programs, for example. We do take lots of perspectives into account. We value all kinds of ideas and diversity
of every flavor at Google, including diversity of perspective and ideas.>>Eric Schmidt: David.>>David Drummond: Yeah, I would just say that
these positions that we’re taking are not — these are not partisan positions. We’re not in the middle of the political fray. These have to do with principles that we’ve
long held at the company. And we’ve got folks of various political stripes
who believe in those principles. And so I think what you see is not our attempt
to jump on the scales for one political party or another, but to express things that are
very deeply — very important to the company, whether it’s free expression or whether it’s
the openness of — you know, we have lots of folks at Google from all over the world. And we took a stand to protect them. Many of them were personally affected by what
was going on with that policy that you — I think you referred to. And so I think our employees were very strongly
behind taking these positions, because they reflect a principle, not partisanship.>>>I just want to make sure you don’t red-line
the fact I work in the D.C. conservative circles and your applications for your public policy
teams, many conservatives in D.C. would never even consider applying to this company because
they wouldn’t feel welcome. I just know that as —
>>Eric Schmidt: I’m happy to have that discussion some other time. I will tell you that we operate the company
under the principles that David and Kent and I have outlined. We’re not going to change that. The company was founded under the principles
of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness, and science-based thinking. You’ll also find that all of the other companies
in our industry agree with us. Yes, sir.>>>My name is Tom (saying name). I’m an ex-Google employee. [ Applause ]
>>Eric Schmidt: Go ahead. Yes, sir.>>>Yeah, ex-Google employee and also an immigrant
from China. I’m impressed of the video you played, the
Google Alphabet new mission is to help people live better. I remember the old mission is organize the
world’s information and make it accessible to everyone. So the population — So Google’s new mission
will make millions of people’s lives better. I assume that you’re also including the Chinese,
because Chinese — number of Chinese users is double the U.S. population. So my question is, some of the Chinese cannot
use Google services and products. So any ideas or any initiatives to make the
same products and services available in China?>>Kent Walker: We continue to express the
thought that we would like to be able to serve the citizens of China with our services. It’s a complex area and it’s one we continue
to explore.>>Eric Schmidt: I was in China this past week
as part of our AlphaGo tournament, where we had a joint program around man versus machine
in the Go game, which was successful, I think, on all parts. And we also did a great deal of education
on AI. Yes, ma’am. I didn’t realize you guys had separate — my
error. I apologize. Sir. Yes, sir, in the back.>>>No problem. No offense taken. I just wanted to ask, my name is Tony Lavia
(phonetic), and I’m a stockholder. I wanted to ask about the area of augmented
reality. I didn’t hear very much, if anything, about
that. And I wondered, you know, it seems to be a
fairly promising area with a lot of people competing. So, number one, what is the strategy for making
products in that area? What do you see maybe as some of the high-running
ones that we might see that aren’t just going to be Pokemon games. And, two, how will you compete against, say,
Apple, who controls both the platform and the software, which Google does not do so
far?>>Eric Schmidt: Ruth.>>Ruth Porat: So our augmented reality area
is part of the virtual reality area. And going back to Eric’s opening comments,
I think one of the very fascinating elements of innovation at Google, now Alphabet, started
with what we called the 20% time. And the first virtual reality effort came
out of that in Cardboard. And that has grown into our virtual reality/augmented
reality effort. We’re really excited about the direction it’s
taking. You’re absolutely right, it’s not just about
games. We think there’s a broader set of applications. And at this point, there’s — we’re not going
into detail on what the products are, but have it under a terrific leader, Clay Bavor,
and are excited about the direction we are taking. We agree with you; it’s an important area.>>>Can you say whether Google glasses is
going to play a major part again? Because that seems to have gone —
>>Ruth Porat: That is not part of — That’s a different effort.>>Eric Schmidt: In the back. And I apologize for not seeing you guys as
a separate mic.>>>Not a problem. My name is Brad Bates. I’m from Turlock. I have been a fortunate shareholder since
the IPO. And congratulations on joining the four-digit
club of stock. So now go chase down Berkshire. A few years ago, an interesting question was
asked, and I thought it had an interesting answer. And the question was, if Google were a person,
in terms of development, what grade would that person be in? And the answer, I believe, that came from
one of the founders was the third grade. And I thought, that’s — That’s a pretty precocious
eight-year-old. So as you’re beginning to enter your third
decade as a public company, I would ask that same question again. If Alphabet were a person, what grade would
we, or would that person be in?>>Eric Schmidt: This is a Ruth question. [ Laughter ]
>>Ruth Porat: I would say we maybe are now in fourth grade.>>David Drummond: Exactly.>>Ruth Porat: But we’re still very, very early. And that’s what’s so extraordinary. When you look at Google, I’m often asked what’s
my biggest surprise coming here, having been here two years, and the answer is how early
we still are. Eric talked a lot about machine learning and
how important it is. You saw on the video what the Assistant will
be doing for us, opening up ways of query that we didn’t have before. And the opportunity to provide more effective
responses, to use recommendation engines with YouTube, to help us as we’re moving into the
cloud and the opportunity there, all that we’re doing with hardware, all that we’re
doing with YouTube subscriptions suggests that Google has quite a long runway ahead
of it. I often describe it as three arcs. You know, we’ve got all that’s going on in
ads, and then we’re adding on with Cloud, hardware, and YouTube subscriptions, and then
all of the magical things coming out of the other bets, whether it’s self-driving cars
or transforming cities or Life Sciences or Loon. And so I’ve given us one year ’cause I couldn’t
say we stalled in third grade. But I’d say fourth grade.>>>Well, save some money for college. [ Laughter ]
>>>Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you. Yes, sir.>>>My name is George Bayon (phonetic), Bayon
Capital Partners, private equity. And my question is, with the new administration
offering to repatriate capital back to the U.S., what is Google or Alphabet’s stance
on that since they have $50 billion plus in capital? And — well, I have another.>>Ruth Porat: So one of the key questions,
I think, when we look at cash is, what’s the most effective use of that cash for shareholders. And as we look at it, we go back to our core
principles from day one, which is, we have been and remain committed to long-term growth. And the most exciting opportunity, really,
building off of the prior question, is all of the areas in which we can invest. And so we’re first looking at the organic
investment opportunities. We also have a great history of acquisitions,
things like YouTube or DoubleClick, Maps, where we’ve really done things which at the
time seemed crazy, but have worked out quite well for everyone. And so that is another area where we’re considering
uses of cash. And when we look at the overall potential
requirements, we then ask the question, what else might be available with cash? And we were pleased to have been able to start,
you know, doing the modest share repurchase program. But when we look at globally that cash, it
doesn’t change the overarching objective, which is investing in the business, investing
in the growth opportunities, whether that’s organic or through acquisition, to enable
us to continue driving the types of growth that you’ve seen. There’s too many opportunities out there. And so where it actually is has not been really
the constraint. It’s really what’s the opportunity set.>>>And would Google ever consider one share
of Google for one share of Apple, since Apple does have $250 billion at — capital that
could be repatriated?>>Ruth Porat: I’m sorry?>>>Would you consider —
>>Eric Schmidt: Are you suggesting we do a stock swap?>>Ruth Porat: A stock swap. Interesting.>>Eric Schmidt: I think Apple would have to
want to do that.>>>It’s called a bear hug.>>Eric Schmidt: Go ahead.>>Ruth Porat: I’ll leave that one to you.>>Eric Schmidt: Not in your current list?>>Ruth Porat: Yes.>>David Drummond: Probably not.>>Ruth Porat: Did not —
>>Eric Schmidt: Did I hear a no and a no?>>Ruth Porat: A no and a no and a no.>>Eric Schmidt: I think it’s a no. Yes, ma’am.>>>Hi. Natasha Lamb, with Arjuna Capital. The company’s paid lip service to the gender
pay gap, says that it’s not an issue, but it’s been unwilling to give a quantitative
disclosure to give that number that so many of Google’s and Alphabet’s peers have given. It — the company’s also been unwilling to
dialogue with us since last year, when we had begun what we thought was a productive
dialogue, so the company has gone quiet, despite the fact that last year’s vote on this proposal
from non-insider — from the non-insider voting bloc was 48%, which I think is pretty remarkable
for outside shareholders from a voting standpoint. So, you know, I — one, I would ask that we
continue the dialogue. And, two, I’m curious if Google is willing
to join its peers in providing those transparent, quantitative disclosures. And, you know, if this is not an issue, if
the issue is moot and, you know, women are paid 100% of what men are paid, then can you
say 100%? Because, you know, what investors are looking
for are those transparent, quantitative numbers that we’ve seen your peers give as well. Thank you.>>Kent Walker: As you probably have seen,
we’re currently in litigation with the Department of Labor over some issues related to this. We feel very strongly that gender pay equity
is an important principle at Google. We run internal surveys on a regular basis. And we do believe we pay equally across genders
throughout the company. So we’re continuing to make progress on that. We’ve said that publicly. So that is, in itself, a form of disclosure
of where we think we are. But we’re always happy to talk more, and happy
to chat after the meeting to continue that dialogue.>>>Thank you. And I appreciate that. I mean, last year, certainly, you weren’t
under investigation by the Department of Labor, and our dialogue went quiet. So I would appreciate that continued conversation. Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: One of our traditions is we
produce the actual expert when a hard question is asked. This is Prasad.>>Prasad Setty: Good morning. I’m Prasad Setty. I’m a vice president in our People Operations
organization, and one of the functions that I have responsibility for is compensation. Pay equity is one of our most important tenets
that we look into when we think about compensation. And all of our pay practices are designed
such that no demographic information is ever taken into account. It’s all about skills and capabilities. But, in addition to that, we also go through
a rigorous analysis every year to make sure that we are living up to the principles that
we hold very dear. And last year, around this time, we published
externally that our aggregate analysis showed that there is no gender pay gap. At the ends of last year, after the completion
of our annual pay planning cycle, we went into in-depth analysis of 52 different jobs
at Google, went into really, really gory detail out there, and found that for every one of
those, again, we did not see any gender pay gap, which Eileen Naughton, published in an
external blog post. So we feel we are committed to this and confident
in our processes.>>>Thank you. We’re looking for a number. So if it’s 100%, please say that. Thanks.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you, Prasad. Let’s see. Continuing to add, in my — correct from my
error. Yes, sir.>>>Hi. I’m Dan Gluesenkamp. I’m the executive director of the California
Native Plant Society. I’m a shareholder. And you might recognize CNPS, the Native Plant
Society. We’ve designed the native plant palette for
the landscaping that’s coming in here for the pollinator gardens. That was one of our local chapter projects. We’ve got 35 chapters covering California
and Baja California. And I just want to talk a little bit about
kind of the great repository of information that is untapped in California, this biodiversity
hot spot we all saw with super bloom. The plants and animals that have evolved in
California, if you can imagine the Alphabet going on for a billion years instead of a
decade or so, the information that is coded in there, the ability to survive various challenges,
is absolutely priceless. And as we move toward an era where we can
lasso asteroids and drop the price of gold, as we can do anything, the one thing that
we will not be able to do is to develop the information, the codes, the genes that those
things hold that provide engineering feedstock for what we will need to do on this planet
in the future. And I want to thank you guys, I want to thank
Google, for all of the tools that have been developed that have helped conservationists
to try and save some of those species. It’s a globally significant biodiversity hot
spot. We’re really blessed here. The mapping applications you’ve built, the
Google Earth outreach to put it into the hands of people have really transformed our ability
to first figure out what we have and then to figure out how everything is connected. What I want to ask is, I want to encourage
Alphabet to look at this as an incredible resource, a great opportunity, both a business
opportunity to capture the most valuable information on a planet, extremely inaccessible, coded
in a language that we are only just learning how to read, and yet there, free for the taking,
with many people excited to work on it. Being paid low wages for the price of one
stabilizing spoon, we could probably map the entire flora. And I know that individuals in the leadership
— Eric, Diane — are very interested in saving this stuff, individually, personally committed. It would be revolutionary if the organization
took advantage of this opportunity that is left lying on the table and actually focused
on it in a way to develop specific tools to help us understand what biodiversity we have,
to try and map it so that we understand where the important plant areas are, for example,
so we don’t accidentally bulldoze something that has a cure for something in the future,
and get some really positive press for it and potentially start a revolution that bumps
us out of this slow evolution we’re facing.>>Eric Schmidt: So thank you. We have actually had over the last decade
a number of projects to provide underlying tools to such research projects. These are generally known as the Code for
Life projects. Because we need to understand the biodiversity
not just at the plant level, but at sort of nature’s level. And it advances science in really fundamental
ways. We have not made the vertical tools that you’re
describing, but I think it’s a good idea for both us and also for private philanthropists.>>>I know there’s been involvement in New
York botanical garden.>>Eric Schmidt: Yes, of course.>>>California has more plants than any state
in the union. We have more rare plants than any state in
the union. And if you see an opportunity to connect with
CNPS, I’m [email protected], to really focus on the California treasure, we’d be excited to
partner.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you very much. Yes, sir.>>>Good morning, my name is Juan Cortes,
I’m a relatively new shareholder. And I don’t know what the world would look
like without Alphabet and all of the value it’s created for billions of people. But what do you think are some of the negative
societal drawbacks and consequences of creating such a powerful and omnipresent corporation?>>Kent Walker: So there’s been a lot of talk
about sort of the rise of tech platforms generally. We think it’s actually, on balance, been a
remarkable opportunity for people to have access to information that they never would
have had access to before — typically, for free in many of the services and products
that we provide — and has opened up new opportunities for competitive marketplaces at the same time,
empowering not just consumers, but small businesses, to be able to come on and sell their goods
and services around the world. So that, on balance, has been a really powerful
and positive development. We take the responsibilities seriously, and
we’re recognizing, you know, some of the issues that have been discussed today and elsewhere,
and we do an awful lot as a company to try and invest in making sure that the Internet
is a positive and constructive place and that the work that Google does outside of the Internet
is also sort of investing in the larger benefit of society and the community.>>Eric Schmidt: We’re running — sort of running
out of time. But I want to make sure we get everybody’s
questions. So we’ll need to accelerate the Q&A process. Yes, sir.>>>Good morning. My name is Andre Crandall. I’m a junior at Berkeley High School and a
shareholder. In your annual report, you stated that 80%
of your profits come from advertising. You also said that a risk to this company
is online blocking software. What do you plan — how do you plan on combating
this issue?>>Kent Walker: So we recently announced an
effort to use Google Chrome to address some of the concerns that many consumers have about
annoying ads, targeting a small number of ads that are disruptive to the consumer experience
that are leading some people to actually using broader kinds of ad-blocking software. We think that’s a very positive development. We’re working together with partners across
the publishing industry, the advertising industry, because it’s not a problem that any given
company can solve on its own. It really is making sure that the ecosystem
is moving in a positive direction so that the online browsing experience for consumers
is better and they don’t see a need for online blocking software.>>Eric Schmidt: And thank you for being one
of our youngest shareholders.>>>Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: That’s good. [ Applause ]
Quickly, yes, ma’am.>>>Meredith Benton. I wanted to speak in support of the request
around increased transparency around the gender data, but beyond that, racial, ethnic, and
religious. Google works in so many different parts of
the world where we know there’s entrenched discrimination. And the ability of this company to address
those problems through its data and through its desire to make the world a better place,
to report back to the community at large over what initiatives it’s taking internally make
a difference, how they’ve made a differentiation, what hasn’t worked. It’s just the possibility for the positive
benefit that could be made is extraordinary, not just for the world at large, but also
for your existing and potential employees.>>Eric Schmidt: Ruth? Would you like —
>>Prasad Setty: I can take this one as well. As you all recall, three years back, we were
one of the first companies in the tech industry to report on our diversity demographics. And we are continuing with that practice. And we are glad to see that the rest of the
tech industry is following suit as well. And so that shows you our commitment, and
certainly internally as well. We have lots and lots of dialogue around diversity
and inclusion. And so we want to make sure that our workplace
is one that has a tremendous amount of respect for everyone and that we are the champions
of diversity and inclusion throughout. So we are certainly continuing in that quest.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you. Yes, sir.>>>Hi, my name is Scott chapman. And thank you very much for all the great
work you’re doing. I have a financial question to elaborate a
little bit more on capital allocation, Ruth. Earlier, Eric, you alluded to your influential
meeting with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. One of the things that Buffett does so ingeniously
is come up with the right incentive systems for all of the autonomous units to incent
them to allocate capital, excess capital back to headquarters so he can reinvest that. When you have cash flow generates and cash
users within the organization, can you share with us, Ruth, a little bit about how — what
you’ve brought to the table here in your way of thinking about doing the similar parallel
type of thing with capital allocation, allocating cost of capital to the divisions and how they
are incented to bring back capital and how you prioritize that capital at headquarters. Thank you.>>Ruth Porat: I think one of the many benefits
of the move to the Alphabet structure was that we got focused within Google, as Eric
described, and then across these — this portfolio of other bet companies. And what we’ve done is really push expenses
down to the business level, so business leaders have much greater sense of — much greater
visibility about all the resources that they’re using within any particular effort. And quoting also from Eric’s book, where he
says anchor everything in data and the rest will follow, that’s what we’re doing. And it’s provided a level of transparency
about how much is being used, what does it look like over a multiyear period. And we’ve been working tightly with our leaders
on how do you stack rank the opportunity so you can identify, where are there places where
maybe we — we’ve overinvested, should scale back in order to put more weight behind some
of the big new opportunities. But it really — it starts with data. We announced, as some of you may have seen,
within the last year that we moved from what was called non-GAAP to GAAP. It was really profound internally. We heard a lot of positive feedback from investors. But the beauty of it internally is we’re giving
great leaders more visibility about how they’re using resources and so they can stack rank
where they want to apply those resources. That’s true across Alphabet. What’s been really extraordinary with — with
this move as well as is the opportunity to work so closely with the founders, looking
at how much is needed within each one of the other bets, how do we shape it so we set it
up to be as nimble and potent as possible, with very much a philosophy that overresourcing
can be as counterproductive as underresourcing. So it’s a lot of iterative work. It’s different type of businesses than in
the Berkshire family of companies. And it really goes very much to what — who’s
the leader, what’s the mission, what’s the scale of opportunity, and what are the milestones
along the way to achieve it and how do we make sure we’re giving them that runway. And so it has been, I think, a very productive
process.>>>Great. Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: David?>>David Drummond: I would just join to say
unlike Berkshire Hathaway, we’re mostly dealing with tech startups. So we’re trying to replicate that experience
for the great — the talented technical people and great businesspeople that we’re recruiting. And an important part of that is setting up
sort of incentive programs that — where people get — if they perform in — in the other
bet, they do very well, as opposed to being, you know, sort of attached to the overall
Google or Alphabet compensation plan. So I think we’re trying to replicate that
startup feel as a way to really get the kind of innovation and great business creation
that you see out in the world here in the Valley.>>Eric Schmidt: And a lot of the success we’re
seeing in Alphabet has been because Ruth and David have spent the majority of their time
trying to get the structure right. And so they, in my view, are the real heroes
of the implementation of this truly brilliant idea. Let’s go. Yes, sir. And we’ll need to pick it up even quicker.>>>My name is Tom Chen. I take Google Maps to here. It saved me a couple minutes.>>Eric Schmidt: Good.>>>And I am an environmentally concerned
person. Can Google tell me which way is more green?>>Eric Schmidt: Is more green?>>>Yeah. Less CO2.>>Eric Schmidt: Yes, in many, many ways.>>David Drummond: That’s interesting.>>Eric Schmidt: Yeah, in many, many ways.>>Ruth Porat: Well, I would say that it does
tell you the time to walk and the best route or the time to bike. So that’s one part of the answer. And I think it’s a great question, something
we will keep looking at.>>Eric Schmidt: Maybe we should highlight
–>>David Drummond: It’s a good product suggestion.>>>What mileage and want less consume gas
or something. Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you very much. Let’s do these two folks at the microphone. So yes, sir.>>>My name is Deepak Kumar. I am a shareholder. So, first of all, I would like to thank you
to making the whole world so closer and connected. When I came in ’94, it was so difficult to
talk to the back home. And we are holding all the Triple A maps,
everything. So I really like to thank you for making all
our lives so easy and productive. So I would like everybody to have a big applause
for this achievement. [ Applause ]
>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you.>>>And so my main question is for the job. So like, ’cause this is, like, a very star
company, and everybody would like to help the company to move to the new direction. Right now, it’s very difficult to apply for,
like, Google and all these things, like the recruiter. You will be very lucky to get a chance to
return back. Otherwise, they just hanging around. So what is the best way to connect to the
company so that the bright people in the industry, they can get a chance to talk with you and
get — show their ability to see that, oh, we are the one who can help the company also.>>Eric Schmidt: I think we’re going to make
Prasad a permanent member of our panel here.>>Prasad Setty: Thank you for that question. We’re always looking for the most amazing
talent. Right? Like, you know, all the innovations that Eric
and Ruth and Kent and David have talked about would not come alive if it were not for the
people that we have out here. As you know, we have been recognized as the
number one best place to work in the U.S. for seven years in a row. That wouldn’t happen if we didn’t place this
kind of a commitment on finding and developing and retaining our talent. We get 3 million applications every year,
and we hire a few thousand people. So we are more selective than pretty much
any educational institution you can think of. And that does provide its own challenges. On the one hand, we are blessed that we have
such a popular organization that everyone wants to work. But it does make it difficult for us to go
back and talk to everyone about their applications. Rest assured, though, that with our people,
our machine learning technology, all of that, we’re always looking for who are the best
people that should be part of this organization. So (indiscernible).>>>Basically, I face the problem with one
of the recruiter, like, they just quiet and they’re not updating. So I was just lucky to get the call. But, actually, it was not well, professionally
way to move forward.>>Eric Schmidt: Why don’t you give that feedback
to Prasad offstage. I will tell you, by the way, that Prasad is
the architect of why we have such extraordinary talent in this organization. Thank you very much.>>>Thank you so much.>>Eric Schmidt: Next question.>>>Tom Kane from Menlo Park. Warren Buffett’s famous for running the entire
— his entire corporation with that staff that fits on one floor in Omaha. Is the top Alphabet staff of the same scale? Are you that lean? How do you do it?>>Eric Schmidt: I think it’s smaller.>>David Drummond: Actually, I think it’s maybe
a quarter of the floor, a few offices. We’re actually — Ruth and I have visited
the headquarters several months ago in Omaha. And we realized that our Alphabet staff was
actually much, much smaller than Berkshire Hathaway’s.>>Eric Schmidt: By the way, this is not a
goal. [ Laughter ]
Yes, sir. Okay. We have — sir, it looks like you have the
honor of the — oh, we have — we have — would you like one more question?>>>Mine will be quick.>>Eric Schmidt: Okay. So we’ll have — we’ll have — I’m sorry. Do we have somebody on the last? Yeah, we have — yes. So we’ll have you, you, and then you’ll have
a quick question. Yes, sir.>>>Barry Wood, Washington, D.C. Following from the last question and from
Mr. Chapman’s questions about what you said, Mr. Schmidt, about scalability from the Warren
Buffett model, yes, there’s only a few people in that. But this is — Berkshire is a very diversified,
almost 100 different companies spread all over the planet, mostly in the U.S. You’re operating here from one — essentially,
one big campus. I don’t understand what you really mean by
“scalability.” I don’t think most people who are not shareholders
understand the difference between the two types of shares or what Alphabet is vis-à-vis
the company and also the question of aren’t you just one big company with several divisions?>>Eric Schmidt: Well, again, I can assure
you, in the spirit of a quick answer, that we created Alphabet because we needed at least
26 letters. Right? And that each of those letters in the form
of corporations will really be quite independent. And that’s my core message, is that they’ll
have clear, distinct, different ownership, leadership, the possibility for partial investment
— we’ve already done that with Verily — different kinds of incentive programs, different kind
of compensation programs, different branding, different cost structures. Ruth and David have architected that, so that
scalability is possible. I believe that that will be what Alphabet
will look like in five or ten years. That is my opinion. Let’s see. We have a — yes, ma’am. Come on up.>>>My name is Marion Lowe (phonetic) from
Salinas, California. And it’s about Alphabet, the name “Alphabet.” Many wonder, why Google to Alphabet? Well, I read about it, how the board chose
and why and how it did. And it’s the most refreshing enlightenment. Anyway, there are many reasons, but I chose
this one, which is pertinent to my nephew and me. And it’s coined “Alpha, hyphen, Bet.” “Alpha” means investment return above benchmark. And that’s what I liked about it. Thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: Thank you very much. And thank you for asking your question. [ Applause ]
Ruth, would you like to comment?>>Ruth Porat: Just to say thank you.>>Eric Schmidt: Okay. Excellent. And, sir, a quick final comment.>>>Thank you. Michael Walsh. I’m a stockholder. I live in Beverly Hills. Ruth, can you give us any color, are auditors
carrying any items on the — our unadjusted error schedule and anything significant with
that?>>Ruth Porat: We’re very comfortable. They’re here. We have a very strong relationship with them
and encourage them to push us as hard as possible and feel very good about where we are.>>Eric Schmidt: On behalf of the corporation,
the board of directors, the senior leadership, and Prasad, our newest member, thank you very,
very much for staying for our shareholder meeting. We’ll see you in one year, same place. Thank you very much. [ Applause ]

Danny Hutson

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